16 Unconventional Careers That Did Not Exist A Decade Ago

What a wonderful time to be alive. Given the advent of social media and technology, there are far greater employment opportunities today than, say, when our parents joined the workforce. There’s a plethora of unconventional  careers to choose from. Not just doctors and lawyers, the 21st century has been privy to the rise of YouTubers, ethical hackers, writers, stylists and video game designers – all legitimate careers that pay the bills. If you’re still unsure where your passion lies, we encourage you to go through our list of some unconventional jobs that didn’t even exist a decade ago; if any of them appeals to you, deep-dive into literature about it, start looking for ways to explore it on the field, and then evaluate whether it might be your next thing. The path to a fulfilling future begins here. 

Influencer Marketing

An influencer is someone who has expert knowledge and/or social influence in their respective fields, from fashion to music and journalism to comedy. Think of the people you follow on Instagram – Kusha Kapila, Shayan Roy, Mallika Dua, Zaeden…they’re all influencers because they’ve demonstrated a strong commitment to their passion, combined with a superior understanding of how to use social media to engage hundreds of thousands of people. Consequently, influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing involving brand endorsements from such influencers. 

Expected income: It depends on how big and scattered the influencer’s audience is; the sky’s the limit really. 

Youtubers 

With millions of subscribers hooked to their content, broadcast specifically via YouTube, that may range from documentaries, music videos, web series, music covers, cooking, fashion, and more, these personalities influence pop culture in a significant way. One of the best examples is Lilly Singh aka iisuperwomanii, who has been in the business for around a decade. Now, she’s all set to host the next edition of the late-night show, A Little Late with Lilly Singh, becoming the first ever South Asian, queer woman to do so. Talk about smashing the glass ceiling. 

Expected income: On an average, a YouTuber can receive around Rs 1,300 per 1,000 ad views. 

Comedians

Stand-up comedy has arrived in India in a BIG way – it’s a profitable, viable career option that more and more people are pursuing. Supported by tour managers, artist managers and agencies, stand-up comics are becoming celebrities in their own rights. Did you know that Kanan Gill, who was first noticed for Pretentious Movie Reviews, has just been signed on by a massive, US-based talent management agency in an almost-unprecedented move? This just goes to show that Indian stand-up comics are slowly, but surely, finding their place in the spotlight. 

Expected income: The range is between Rs 5,000 – 10,000 per gig for those who are just starting out to veteran comics who earn over Rs 4 lakhs per 30-minute show. 

Network marketing 

Don’t want a 9-5 job sitting at a desk in a corporate office? Network marketing may be for you. This is a business model that depends on person-to-person sales by independent representatives, often working from home – stellar sales skills required! 

Expected income: You can expect to start with a salary of around Rs 20, 000 but work your way up to Rs 1 lakh per month

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning 

Artificial Intelligence is the study of how to train computers so that they can accomplish things that the most evolved species of our time, human beings, cannot. An application of AI, Machine Learning provides system with the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience. It’s all very Black Mirror, and it’s happening right now. 

Expected income: The median salary of AI professionals in India is Rs 14.3 lakh across all experience levels.

Experiential Marketing 

Another new-age marketing job, this involves directly engaging with your consumers, inviting and encouraging them to participate in the evolution of a brand or brand experience. The ability to think out-of-the-box, adapt to changing market scenarios and learn from your mistakes (and consumer feedback) are crucial to success as an experiential marketer.

Expected income: One can expect a salary that ranges anywhere between Rs 40,000 and 1,00,000

Mental Health Coach 

Given India’s mental health epidemic, there’s never been a greater need for young, driven and compassionate individuals to join the workforce as mental health care professionals – from therapists to coaches. If you’re not familiar with it, mental health coaching helps clients envision life without depression or any other obstacles on the path to emotional well-being. It is a niche within the coaching field which touches on therapy, but it does not work with or attempt to treat mental illness. 

Expected income: Mental health coaches take home a salary that ranges between Rs 10 lakhs to 15 lakhs.

Ethical Hacking 

Often organisations employ ethical hackers who specialise in penetration testing and other testing methodologies that ensures the security of their information systems. After all, prevention is better than cure. 

Expected income: The average salary of a certified ethical hacker is around Rs 3.5 lakhs and can increase with experience.

Graphic Designing 

Graphic designing is the craft of creating striking, stimulating visual content to communicate messages. Applying visual hierarchy and page layout techniques, graphic designers use typography and pictures to meet their client’s specific needs and focus on the logic of displaying elements in interactive designs to optimise the user experience. Today, graphic designers are creating album art, websites and even branded clothing for brands that seek maximum visual impact. 

Expected income:The average pay for a graphic designer is around Rs 2 lakh per year, but this can vary drastically from person to person. 

Creative Writing

Creative writers, with a flair for words and an obsession with good grammar, use their imagination, creativity, and observation skills to tell a story or weave a compelling narrative. 

Expected income: Although the median salary for content writers in India is around Rs 2.5 lakhs per annum, actual pay varies according to different factors such as job location, company, experience, and niche.

App Developers  

App developers use programming to create softwares according to their client’s brief, that could be to built a networking app, a learning app, a music app and so on. 

Expected income: An entry-level android developer earns approximately Rs 3 lakh per year, whereas an app developer with significant experience could take home an average salary of Rs 5 lakh per month.

Fashion Stylist & Personal Shopper

Fashion stylists are the people working tirelessly behind-the-scenes to make cover stars, Bollywood celebrities and TV personalities look good. Personal shoppers of the rich and famous, on the other hand, assess a client’s style so they can personally curate each item in their wardrobe. 

Expected income: A fashion stylist earns an average salary of Rs 4,40,000 per annum.

Video Game Designer

Don’t just play video games, make them! Video game designers characters and the flow of the game, to make them as appealing to customers as possible. The job requires boundless creativity as well as sophisticated knowledge of software coding. 

Expected income: In India, joining salaries are around Rs  4 lakhs per annum for programmers and designers and Rs 3 lakhs for graphic artists and game developers.

Professional Gamer

A pro gamer is a full-time competitive player who is paid to play video games – yep, you heard that right! You can finally tell your mom that Halo is serious business. Most pro gamers are normally paid by their teams or sponsors to play and compete in gaming tournaments around the world.

Expected income: Still in a nascent stage in India, professional gaming can fetch you around Rs 50,000-1,00,000 if you are backed by good sponsors. Apart from the prize money, that is. 

Food Stylist 

Food stylists are responsible making, well, food look really, really appetising on camera, typically for posters, ad shoots, videos and even Instagram. Most food stylists work on a freelance basis, making it another great job for those who can’t stomach the thought of conventional desk jobs. 

Expected income: Typically food stylists can earn between Rs 30,000 to Rs 35,000 per month, but this varies based on the stylist’s experience level and nature of project(s). 

VFX Artists

A trickle-down trend that’s slowly making its way to India after firmly establishing itself as a technically-advanced job overseas, VFX is now being used in more and more Bollywood and Tollywood films. Think Ra.One,  Baahubali or even something like Shandaar. And the people behind all the magic? VFX artists that create these animations and special effects for movies, television shows, or video games.

Expected income: The salary of VFX artists starts at around Rs 3 lakhs per annum and can go up to Rs 10 lakhs per annum. 

 

Is experiential learning the answer to India’s stunted education system?

Picture this – it’s a hot afternoon in April, school’s just started and you’ve got two back-to-back periods of trigonometry. There’s lots of formulas, no calculators, hefty textbooks, and no real direction. You soldier on, determined to make sense of the triangles on the board, before you realise that you’ve grown up, school’s out and you haven’t learnt anything that might actually help you excel in your chosen career. Sure, the foundation’s there – reading, writing, critical analyzing – but template-style education segregates interests into arts, commerce or science, focusses on exams and marks and culminates with a degree that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’re qualified to, for instance, write a song or start a company even though that’s where your heart is. Enter experiential learning, or learning by doing, that can at the very least supplement the more conventional methods. At its most advanced, however, it can disrupt the traditional education system completely.  But experiential learning can change this. 

And there’s no better time than right now to revisit or reimagine what a holistic education can give you. One of Project Mynt’s co-founders, Aayush Naran (engineer-turned-serial-entrepreneur) recalls, “While we were in schools, we were not allowed to use a calculator while dealing with complex arithmetic problems during exams. Using the internet in the school lab was banned, and if I used the internet to study, my parents would never believe that.” However, he points out that, everything changed when he got his first job. “My boss expected me to check Google before I asked him a question, and I was specifically asked “Don’t you own a phone” in a derogatory manner, when I was trying to solve those large number arithmetic problems in my head.” He finds this gap problematic–education was supposed to prepare one for what they were going to do in the future. 

Ways of assessment must also be overhauled, he believes. Narang says, “I was an engineering student and I used to earn more marks to learn computer programming codes and writing them on an answer script than to actually run that program on the computer. Moreover, I knew the code which was to be written but I never downloaded the software which was required to code.” 

So, is experiential learning the answer? 

Narang certainly believes it is. Corporates have started admitting the facts that a better experiential learning background and a self-learning attitude is the actual price-worthy skill, rather than just the degree that people hold in India. The ancient Chinese philosopher, Confucius once said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” The idea that learning by doing is not new, only forgotten. However, at Project Mynt we believe that experiential learning is going to be the next big thing in the education space. Soon, it will be widely understood that experiential learning and creative thinking are the skills to chase, not just diplomas and degrees. 

This will also help combat the extra expenditure that corporates (and individuals) need to spend on upskilling themselves for a job. Needs and extra expenditure on upskilling is on a rise due to this lack. Currently, companies and mass recruiters incur huge costs on experiential training due to these lags in the way that India currently studies. You see, as job profiles continue to evolve, social media continues to create new jobs, hierarchies in companies continue to change and the world continues to become a smaller and smaller place, these lags will continue to be exposed. And, hopefully, understood. 

At Project Mynt, we’re placing all bets on the rise of experiential learning – come check out our capsule courses in Filmmaking, Photography, Music Production, Entrepreneurship and more to see how it can transform your education experience. 

 

Five Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Producing Music

“The devil’s in the details, and little things matter the most.” I produced my first original track when I was a teenager, and I wish someone had told me this! I started learning how to produce music independently, learning everything I could, from what I had. And, while I certainly believe that hands-on experience is one of the best teachers out there, I now know the value of practical advice and mentorship from those who’ve already been there, done that. It saves time.  If you’re in the same place that I was almost a decade ago, here’s what I believe are helpful tips and suggestions to guide you through the process of recording your first ever song. While there’s no norm to making music—given the digital boom, musicians can be as audacious and as experimental as they like—it’s always helpful to have a solid foundation. These music production tips will help you build exactly that; read on! 

Develop the song’s identity

Just as verses make up the lyrics of the song, loops in the music become the signature tone or the identity of the track. This means that the repetition of that loop is important, but minimalism is just as crucial. Attain equilibrium. It’s easy to get swayed by a sweet, sweet tone but you must remember not to take away from other elements of the music and, by extension, destroying the memorability of the song. 

Songwriting

With regard to vocables, I believe that they can be used minimally and still convey powerful emotions so long as the fixed attributes are solid. These are the melody, rhythm, and the harmony that’s backed by a clean yet potent start, middle and end. 

Don’t be Sir Mix-a-lot

Mixing—the most exciting stage of music production for some needs a word of caution, here. Don’t get carried away. Often, this excitement makes even the best artists focus too much on using all the instruments to develop the sound they’ve been dying for. While that’s certainly important, there’s a few other things to watch out for, like ensuring clean audibility of each instrument and maintaining the frequency of sound in prerecorded gaps.  

Edit your editing 

Don’t depend on digital editing; tools like modulation are not necessities. Instead, think of them as options to inspire creativity, should you need to use them. Here are a few rules I follow: Don’t edit while you record or write. Don’t overdo it—if something sounds goods, let it remain untouched. Don’t chop recklessly so that editing, which was supposed to make everything come together, has left your song drained of vitality, a mere tune with no life. 

However, my most important tip is this: trust your gut and keep at it. Making music is part technical prowess and part intuition; don’t let a quest for the former overpower the latter. If you’re not happy with the way your song sounds, record it again. And again, if you need to. Trust yourself to know where you need to go all out, and where you should be holding back. If you get stuck in the middle, start again. Do this till you’re happy with it; you’ll know when you are.  

Got any other music production tips that have helped you so far? Share them with us in the comments below!